OUR FOUNDING VISION TODAY: TRANSFORMATION IS OUTWARD LOOKING

Our mission puts us on constant call to respond to the most urgent needs of the Church through various forms of witness and ministry, but especially through proclaiming the Word of God which finds its fulfilment in the celebration of the sacraments and in service to others.

CC&RR, Constitution 7

Our relationship with the Word of God invites us to a personal transformation that is outward-looking. This Constitution mirrors Eugene’s concern that in working for the salvation of others, we are working for our own salvation. Conversion, for Eugene, is not primarily about me “saving my soul” but about entering into God’s plan of salvation for all – focusing on the salvation of the other as the means of receiving the gift myself. Our very first vision statement of 25 January 1816 – to be constantly repeated throughout Eugene’s lifetime, makes this clear.

The undersigned priests

-deeply moved by the deplorable situation of the small towns and villages of Provence that have almost completely lost the faith…
-desiring, at the same time, to respond to the call which summons them to consecrate themselves to this demanding ministry;
-and wishing to accomplish it in a manner as useful to themselves as it is beneficial for the people whom they propose to evangelize;

 Request to the Capitular Vicars of Aix, 25 January 1816, EO XIII n.2

Today we express the same sentiment in our Rule of Life, Constitution 7. Our proclamation of the Word of God is outward looking and needs to be expressed in celebrating the sacraments as encounters with God and with one another – and expressed in service to others.

Father Jette writes: “To be effective, this proclamation of the Good News is to strive for a double objective: on the one hand, to form fervent Chris tians who understand the importance of the sacraments and are intent on celebrating them in order to live therefrom; and, on the other hand, Christians who are concerned about their fellow brothers and sisters and who are open and available to serve them in their needs.”   F.Jette, The Apostolic Man, p 80

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“The work of evangelization presupposes in the evangelizer an ever increasing love for those he is evangelizing.”    Pope Paul VI

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One Response to OUR FOUNDING VISION TODAY: TRANSFORMATION IS OUTWARD LOOKING

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    It is a bit of a paradox – we must give it away to keep it. Love is outward looking – just as ‘transformation is outward looking’. It begins with God – God looks at us and ‘it is always the look of love’.

    My thoughts keep returning to the Cross here, to Jesus on the cross (it seems to be where I am these days and so my focus comes from this). Jesus was not looking inward as he hung on the cross but rather was looking outward – down upon those who stood around him at the base of the cross – his thoughts were/are on them and he spoke/speaks to them. Outward looking love.

    If I look only to myself then there will be no great love or transformation – there will be darkness and despair, death. But when I look up and outward, then I learn to love, then there is brilliance all around me. I think of how I have found myself, how I am discovering who I am – not on my own, by myself – but in the community around me, in everyone else. I find myself in the ‘other’.

    “Our relationship with the Word of God invites us to a personal transformation that is outward-looking. […]. Conversion, for Eugene, is not primarily about me “saving my soul” but about entering into God’s plan of salvation for all – focusing on the salvation of the other as the means of receiving the gift myself.”

    Interesting – for me, this is what the Oblate Motto is all about.

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